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In a world that never seems to pause, the act of resting can sometimes feel like a luxury we’re not afforded. Yet, for members of the 2 Spirit, Trans, Intersex, and Gender Expansive (2TIGE) community, taking time to rest is not an indulgence—it’s a crucial aspect of self-care that fosters empowerment, resilience, and healing. Unfortunately, rest has also been historically weaponized against marginalized groups, like ours, and used as a means to diminish and control.

Understanding this context is vital in reclaiming our right to rest and prioritize our well-being.

The Weaponization of Rest
For too long, resting has been entangled with narratives that paint it as a sign of laziness or lack of ambition, especially within marginalized communities. This harmful rhetoric serves as a tactic to perpetuate cycles of exhaustion and disempowerment, making it more challenging for individuals to advocate for themselves and their community. The cruel irony is that those who most need rest to heal and fight against systemic barriers are often the ones denied it.

The Consequences of Rest Deprivation

Physical and Mental Health: Chronic lack of rest can lead to serious health issues, including cardiovascular disease, anxiety, depression, and significantly weakened immune systems. For the 2TIGE community, this adds another layer of stress to lives already navigating complex terrains of discrimination and transition-related health care.

Emotional Well-Being: Without rest, our emotional reserves dry up, making it harder to cope with stress, navigate even the most simple of daily challenges, and maintain healthy relationships. Emotional exhaustion leaves us feeling alienated and burnt out, diminishing our capacity to engage with others, even those in our support networks.

Community Impact: On a larger scale, when members of our community are too tired to participate fully in life, our collective vibrancy and activism suffer.

Rest is not just an individual necessity but a communal one, vital for sustaining the movements that propel us forward.

Rest as an Act of Resistance
In the face of narratives that seek to keep us perpetually on the back foot, prioritizing rest emerges as a powerful act of resistance. Here are a few suggestions to incorporate rest into your self-care regimen:

Listen to Your Body:

Learn to recognize the early signs of fatigue and give yourself permission to slow down. Your body’s needs are legitimate, and honoring them is the first step toward healing.

Set Boundaries:

It’s OK to say no to additional responsibilities if you’re feeling stretched thin. Setting and maintaining boundaries is crucial in safeguarding your time for rest.

Create Restful Routines:

Identify activities that genuinely relax and rejuvenate you. This could be as simple as reading, writing, listening to music, taking a walk, or practicing mindfulness. Incorporating these into your daily routine can help ensure that rest becomes a non-negotiable part of your day.

Seek Community Support:

Sometimes, the weight of the world can make resting feel impossible. In these times, leaning on your community can offer relief and strength. Remember, you’re not in this alone. At TEP we have a community Discord for clients and volunteers to better connect with one another.

Moving Forward:
The right to rest is inherent and non-negotiable, forming the bedrock upon which we build our strength, creativity, and resilience. As a community and as individuals, we must reclaim and protect this right, recognizing rest as essential to our empowerment journey.

We must commit to treating rest not as a luxury but as a critical element of our self-care and activism. By doing so, we not only nurture ourselves but also strengthen our collective capacity to thrive and affect change. The path may be long, but together, with rest as our ally, we continue to move forward towards a future where empowerment and healing are accessible to all.

At Trans Empowerment Project, we understand the pressures and challenges our community faces, and we stand firm in our commitment to support and uplift each other. We’re here to help you find the balance and the space to rest, grow, and empower yourself and those around you. Which is also why TEP has never been in the habit of sending our already exhausted community to the front lines to be targeted by the Chad and Karen at Chick-fil-h8.  Not only is it not sustainable but also we don’t owe others the time and energy it takes to convince a closed mind that we deserve to exist.

We all deserve the freedom of owning our own bodies. The freedom to dream and the freedom to exist in a world not controlled by white supremacy and colonialist values but one where we all get to thrive.

For Disabled 2Spirit, Trans, Intersex, and Gender Expansive community members who are also Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, these acts of aggression are further compounded by the biases of others and systemic oppressions, which we already know were designed to keep people of color disempowered. Many of us have spent our lives fighting to survive, while being denied access to the tools and resources we need to live a basic life, let alone our best lives.

While we will always encourage our community to participate in their own liberation, especially through learning about our rights and by participating in civic engagements like casting our votes, we also strongly urge you to take care of yourselves, through practicing proper self-care habits, especially through rest.

Prioritize healing, improve your mental health, and take the time needed to rest and recharge.


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